Effective and efficient foreign assistance
By Glen Bengson on September 1, 2009
© Xenia Daily Gazette
In the midst of a debate over finding the best way to reform our domestic health care system, it's good to know that there's plenty of activity in Congress to make our Foreign Assistance more efficient and effective.
The recession has affected not just the U.S., but makes it harder for developing nations and people to make the kind of progress they need in health care, food security, and education. United States development aid has always been a significant factor in helping others, even while its cost to us has been very little (1/2 of one percent of our national budget). With new proposed reforms we can achieve an even greater return on our investment and provide even more help to others in need.
Two bipartisan bills are now gaining momentum in Congress. In the House, HR 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009, has over 100 cosponsors. In the Senate, S. 1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountabuility Act of 2009, has been introduced recently. Both bills seek to overhaul our 50-year old system of foreign aid to meet the challenges of this new century. Currently our system is scattered across 12 departments, 25 different agencies, and nearly 60 government offices. Both bills seek better coordination, better accountability, and better clarity, to provide more effective and efficient help to the nearly one billion people in poverty suffering hunger and disease.
Encourage your Dayton area House members (Mike Turner, John Boehner, and Steve Austria), and our Ohio Senators (Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich) to support these efforts for real, effective, humanitarian change. Millions of people will be thankful as their lives are improved through the increased productivity of our foreign aid assistance. We will be a more secure nation as we see others gain the economic stability, improved health, and personal freedom we cherish for ourselves and others.